John Alexander

Obituary of John Alexander

John C. Alexander John Charles Alexander, 67, died on December 10th at his home in Princeton, surrounded by his loving family. Born on December 28, 1943 in Perth Amboy, NJ to the late Charles Alexander and Agnes Alexander (nee Maloney) he was raised in Fords and graduated Woodbridge High School in 1961. He earned his Bachelor of Science from St. Francis University and his Doctor of Medicine from St. Louis University, and then went on to complete his internship at Washington University-Barnes Hospital. Upon earning a Master in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Alexander completed his residency in preventative medicine and public health at the Medical College of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. Based in Philadelphia, he also served as a physician in the Navy during the Vietnam War. Dr. Alexander began his career in pharmaceutical research with the Squibb Corporation in 1976. After progressing through various positions within clinical research, he was named Senior Vice President, Division of Medical Affairs, responsible for worldwide Phase I-III development in 1986. From 1991 to 1999, he was Executive Vice President, Medical Research at G. D. Searle and Co., where he was responsible for worldwide clinical development. Dr. Alexander joined Sankyo Pharma Inc. in 1999 as President of Development, with responsibility for product development in the U.S. and Europe. In 2004, he became the Global Head of R&D and, in 2006, successfully directed the merger resulting in Daiichi Sankyo Inc. Upon his retirement in 2009, Dr. Alexander formed a consulting company, Alexander Global Consulting, while maintaining his role of Chairman of the Board and consultant for Daiichi Sankyo, U.S. headquarters of Tokyo-based Daiichi Sankyo, Company, Ltd. Throughout his accomplished career, Dr. Alexander played a central role in the development of several key products, including the first ACE inhibitor, Capoten; one of the first statins, Pravachol; the first non-ionic contrast agent, Isovue; as well as the first selective COX-2 inhibitor, Celebrex. Additionally, he was responsible for the development of Benicar and gaining FDA and EU approval for Prasugrel for acute coronary syndrome (with Eli Lilly). He was a former president and board member of the Drug Information Association, from which he received an award for lifetime achievement in 2010. Impressive as his professional life was, his greatest love was his family. He met his beloved wife, Margie, at a chart rack at St. Louis University Hospital, where John was a medical student and Margie was an In-service Education Instructor. They were immediately smitten. They married in 1969 and had three daughters they adored. Dr. Alexander was a wine enthusiast, who enjoyed sharing his collection with family and friends. He vacationed at beaches around the world but remained especially fond of the Jersey shore and Cape May in particular. From his many years working with Japanese colleagues and traveling to Japan for business, Dr. Alexander was also a passionate Japanophile. His love of all things Japanese extended to karaoke, and he was known for his spirited rendition of Elvis Presley's Can't Help Falling in Love. Above all else, Dr. Alexander enjoyed spending time with his family, hosting many memorable trips and celebrations over the years, including his 60th birthday party in Harbour Island, Bahamas. He will be remembered for his boundless generosity, his infectious laugh, his extraordinary leadership, his inspired mentoring, and his unbridled love for his friends and family. He was and is irreplaceable. Dr. Alexander is survived by his beloved wife, Margie Alexander; daughter, Laurie Alexander, and her husband, Erik Cullen; daughter, Jennifer Alexander-Hill, and her husband, Graham Hill; daughter, Anna Allegro, and her husband, Justin; as well as four grandchildren, Simon, Theo, Margaux, and Jack, who was born just a week before his passing. A visitation was held on December 12 at the Mather Hodge Funeral Home in Princeton, and a memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 17 at 1PM at Stuart Country Day School in Princeton. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to: The Science Center at St. Francis University, Loretto, PA (http://francis.edu/CapitalCampaign.aspx ) or the Cancer Institute of New Jersey Foundation (http://www.cinjfoundation.org/).
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